Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (PC) - Sorceress class 1:53:44 - Alan Burnett
Speed run of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction on normal skill as Sorceress class in 13 segments, completed on July 23 2005. Available in low, normal and high quality.
Run time 1:55:24Producer Alan 'Siyko' BurnettAudio/Visual sound, color
Firstly, a big thanks to Marshmallow, for doing his D2LOD speedrun, which got me into wanting to do it myself. Thanks to everyone on the thread, especially Coriolanus for his tireless number crunching, Dragonwarrior, Stuporman, Gorash, and everyone else who gave their words of advice.
I got the idea for this speedrun when a friend said I should download a sub 2 hour speedrun of LOD. I thought 'it has to be a sorceress', and then saw it was an assassin. I saw why the assassin would have a lot of advantages during a speedrun, but when I saw his fights, especially against act bosses, I become convinced that the sorceress had more potential. For instance, his section of the chaos sanctuary and Diablo is about 17 minutes, while mine is 5.
Diablo 2 is a weird game to speedrun. If you save your character files upon creation, the map is constant, as are spawn points of some monsters. Drops, equipment for sale, and some monster layout is all random though. There are many things to do to get ready for the fight with baal. Level up to 20, work your way through all the acts, have decent equipment, perhaps a decent mercenary, enough gold to buy potions - you always have to be doing lots of things at once. This leads to a lot of hard decisions that have to be constantly made as well, and hesitation is time wasted. A couple times I had to sell stuff that I was using, just to buy enough potions to stay alive.
If you're not familiar with Diablo 2, these are the main differences between speedrunning with the Sorceress and Assassin:
+Great damage area of affect spells
+Good fire and forget leveling method (with traps)
+Increased running speed beginning at level 6
+Lots of health
-Boss fights are slow
-All damage is skill based, but cannot get +skill items (realistically)
-Crowd control is limited, and does not benefit much from a merc
+Good damage area of affect spells
+Benefits immensely from equipment (faster cast rate, +skill items are very easy to obtain)
+Gains teleport skill at level 18
+Insanely good against bosses (static field reduces an enemies HP by 25% on each cast - bosses included)
+Good crowd control with frozen armor, freezing merc (with teleport)
-Mana intensive - have to buy thousands of potions
-Low HP - hard to stay alive
-Must stand still to cast all spells - leveling is difficult
-No way to increase speed before level 18 without lucky boots
It's a tough call which is better, but given that act 3,4, and 5 all require lots of running and boss fights (chaos sanctuary bosses, Diablo, ancients, Baal), I figured that if I could reach level 18 earlier, I would have a big advantage. The game can be broken into two segments: the first is running through the first three acts and leveling, and the second is running to all the bosses in the last 2 acts and killing them. The sorc would be much weaker in the first part, and much stronger in the second part.
I didn't do everything I had planned, and looking back on it, there's a lot of things I did that I now regret, but a 'perfect' run can't really be defined in this game.
I got kind of lost in the catacombs, which is pretty dumb of me, but whatever.
I wanted to get level 18 before I finish act 2, which I didn't quite do, but the time lost walking through the beginning of act 3 wasn't much time lost.
I have very few regrets with all of the boss fights. For my sorceress, the hardest was Andariel, then Mephisto, then Diablo, then Baal, and Duriel is the easiest. The hardest part of the whole run was Baal's minions. Parking them is so hard without clearing the entire section, but those dual wielding guys take forever to kill, and destroy my health. Parking the last 3 groups was difficult, and took many tries. The first time I even got to baal was the run that I kept, even though I died a couple times. The time spent on bosses is really low - I'd bet I spend 10 times as much time in town than on the bosses.
If you want some more information, I recommend watching Marshmallow's run and reading his comments. It's very interesting to compare two similar timed runs when the distribution of time is done so differently. I also employ more 'tricks' to save time, then go to waste a lot more time than him on stupid stuff (act 5 merc for example, scrounging for money to by things, rearranging inventory, etc).
Act 1 is just a rush to the boss - but you also must be a high enough level by then to fight her.
Act 1 is where the sorceress was expected to be the weakest. And apart from requiring a stupid amount of stamina and mana potions, she does just fine with charged bolt. I still take longer and end at a lower level than marsh, who I was constantly comparing my run to, but I expected as much. The fight with Andy went well, if requiring tons of potions.
Act 2 is gathering 3 components, and placing them in the final chamber to unlock a room to the big guy.
Act 2 is rough. Lots of running, and no way to speed it up. I make the decision to go through the sewers first, because I get good exp there, and I will need to go out of my way to level anyways. The +1 skill point radament drops seals the deal. The leveling everywhere is okay, but the arcane sanctuary is especially nice, which is why I go through more than once, with the contraversial act of repopulating the place between segments. It's legal, and I don't see how it can be abused. I kill Duriel in record time. The reason I keep saving in act 1 is because I need to save in the same spot I load from, and it's a shorter run in act 1.
Everyone hates act 3, no exceptions. You have to collect 4 components, put them together, then go kill Mephisto. The catch? The place is HUGE!
I made sure to get teleport before the real running begins, and that definitely helped, but I still needed to gain 2 levels here, so I can't just skip everything. I get these levels faster than I had expected, and then proceed to ignore everything else in the act. A funny note, you don't actually have to kill the high council, I just needed the money very badly. Time could have been saved here if I had skipped them though. Mephisto was harder than I had hoped (he is lightning resistant), but I do okay.
Act 4 is simply killing Diablo. To summon him, you have to go press 5 seals, 3 of which summon a boss and all his friends. Once the 3 bosses are dead and all 5 seals are pressed, every enemy in the place dies, and Diablo is summoned in a screen shaking scary shout.
I stopped by ol' Izzy (Izual) here for a side quest, because it's right on the way, and he doesnt take TOO long to kill. The reward is two delicious skill points. Diablo's minions go down quickly. Diablo goes down faster than I had expected, and it's off to act 5.
Act 5 is unique, in the fact that you NEED to be level 20 to complete it. This paves the way for the entire beginning of the run, forcing every character to level up to 20 eventually, making most of the run an intense powerleveling fest. You kill the ancients (one of which is lightning resistant), kill (or park) Baal's 5 waves of jerks, and take down Baal himself.
Note that potions cost twice as much here than they do in act 4. You'd think they'd want me alive if I'm saving their stupid town. Jerks. The run to the ancients is uneventful, and the fight goes very smoothly. Baals minions are very hard, however. I park the final 3 groups, and even though they disagree with my methods, Baal enters his portal quick enough. Baal himself is a relative pushover, even though I still die to him a couple times. No biggie. His clone decieves me, but only for an instant. Thank god for static. He dies, cool music starts, Tyrael comes down to say hello, he portals me to DESTRUCTION'S END (?), and for some reason, Cain takes it upon himself to promote me to some arbitrary rank (This part didn't capture for some reason - i think the cutscene killed it). Fame and glory indeed.
I do plan on doing another run, mostly because there are so many places for improvement on this one, and I want to show the sorceress to be the better speedrunner. I hope marsh or someone else tries to improve his assassin speedrun; it would be a fun competition between these two classes to see which is more proficient at speedrunning. I don't think any other class stands a chance at 2 hours. Maybe druid (elemental build), or Paladin (thorns + zeal with a 2h LL maybe), but I doubt it would work for either. I hope somebody tries though.